San Francisco at Seattle
September 15, 2013
By Brian Edwards
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Vitriol will be in abundance tonight in Seattle where the Seahawks will take on San Francisco in an NFC West showdown.
The head coaches don’t like each other. When they were at Stanford and Southern Cal, Jim Harbaugh went for two late in a blowout victory over the Trojans. Harbaugh once led the Cardinal to an outright win at The Coliseum as a 41-point underdog.
San Francisco (1-0 straight up, 1-0 against the spread) had won four in a row over Seattle, going 3-1 ATS, until it went to CenturyLink Field last Dec. 23 and got blasted 42-13 as a 2.5-point road underdog.
In 2013, both of these teams are viewed as serious candidates to not only get to but win Super Bowl XLVIII. Sportsbook.ag has the 49ers with the second-shortest odds (+700), followed by the Seahawks at +750 (risk $100 to win $750). Denver is currently the +550 ‘chalk’ at the offshore website.
San Francisco opened the season by knocking off Green Bay, 34-28, as a five-point home favorite. Phil Dawson’s 33-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining hooked up gamblers backing the 49ers.
Colin Kaepernick picked up where he left off last year when the led his team to the Super Bowl. The University of Nevada product who came out of Chris Ault’s vaunted Pistol offense threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns without an interception.
Anquan Boldin, who won a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens, was a key acquisition for San Francisco in the off-season. He enjoyed a dynamite debut at Candlestick Park, hauling in 13 receptions for 208 yards and one TD. Vernon Davis had six catches for 98 yards and two TDs.
Seattle (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) won a 12-7 decision at Carolina in its opener as a three-point road favorite. The 19 combined points obviously stayed ‘under’ the 44.5-point tally.
Russell Wilson completed 25-of-33 passes for 320 yards and one TD without an interception. Wilson’s 43-yard scoring strike to Jermaine Kearse was the game-winning score with 10:13 remaining in the final stanza.
Seattle’ defense did an extraordinary job of containing Panthers QB Cam Newton, who had just 125 passing yards and 38 rushing yards.
As of early this afternoon, most betting shops had Seattle listed as a three-point favorite at even-money. For those looking to back the 49ers as underdogs, they have to risk double juice (-120) to take the three points. A few spots had the Seahawks down to 2.5-point ‘chalk.’
The total for ‘over/under’ wagers is 44 or 44.5. Bettors can take San Francisco on the money line for a +130 return (risk $100 to win $130). For first-half plays, Seattle is favored by 1.5 with a total of 22.5.
San Francisco WRs Mario Manningham (knee) and Michael Crabtree (Achilles) remain out indefinitely with injuries. Back-up RB LaMichael James is ‘questionable’ with a sore knee.
For Seattle, WR Percy Harvin (hip) will be out until at least mid-November. DE Bruce Irvin is ‘out’ due to a four-game suspension, while starting CB Brandon Browner is ‘doubtful’ with a strained hamstring. Also, DE Chris Clemons (knee) and DT Brandon Mebane (groin) are both listed as ‘questionable.’
Sportsbook.ag is offering a plethora of proposition bets. For instance, there are odds for the player who will score the first touchdown of the game. Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch is the +500 co-favorite along with the field (any player other than the 14 with odds).
I think the best options for this prop are Boldin (+800), Kaepernick (10/1) or Davis (10/1). If the ‘Hawks get into the end zone first, I think it’ll be Lynch and there’s just not much value with him.
Seattle has won eight consecutive home games, going 7-1 ATS. The Seahawks haven’t lost at home since dropping a 19-17 decision to the 49ers on Christmas Eve of 2011. They are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games at CenturyLink Field.
San Francisco owns a 5-2 record both SU and ATS as a road underdog during Harbaugh’s tenure.
Going back to last season, the ‘over’ has now hit in eight consecutive San Francisco games after last week’s 62 combined points jumped ‘over’ the 48-point total. The ‘over’ has cashed at a frenetic 11-1 clip in the 49ers’ last 12 outings.
The ‘under’ is 4-3-1 in the last eight head-to-head meetings since 2009.
Kickoff is slated for 8:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC.